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Amir's 2023 Pacific Audio Fest Report Day 2

amirm

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Purpose of going back for a second day to 2023 Pacific Audio Fest was to see a few suites I missed. But importantly, to spend more time in the ones I had already seen. Both goals were accomplished although I hit the closing time before I felt really finished. I was being up till 3:00am so was hard to get there in the morning.

The first suite I hit was from a company with a new approach to system design: active speakers with full streaming and DAC built in! The company was Cabasse and their Rialto speaker:


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At first they look like ordinary speakers but waive your hand on top of the right speaker and it lights up with the UI:
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Display changes to show album art when playing music! Yes, you can't see it from far but you can navigate using it. Speakers communicate over network (challenging) and support both Wifi and wired ethernet:
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As you see a woofer is mounted on the back to compliment the coaxial on the front. 400 watts of amplification which is a lot for such a small speaker.

First track I heard was Dire Straight's Money for Nothing:

Sounded decent.

Another classic in the form of Patricia Barber's Ode to Billie Joe


Neat channel separation. Good bass for such little speakers (I didn't know there was a woofer in the back at this point)

Till Brönner, Dieter Ilg - A Thousand Kisses Deep (official video)​


Nice details!

Spoke to them about getting a sample for review.
 
I didn't get to listen to these Daedalus Audio Argos v.3 Speakers much the first day so this was a chance for a longer audition with LTA (Linear Tube Audio) amplifiers:
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The open electronics is a prototype DAC from LTA:
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That heavy USB cable is sure tugging on that interface!! Can't tell how it is still working.

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The black boxes on the floor are power supplies. They had XLR cables going into them so at first I thought they were amps but they are not. The amps are the two LTA boxes with burl wood finish.

Another Night · Cody High
Superb detail and dynamics. Excellent recording as I listen to it from youtube.

Essa Moça Tá Diferente (feat. Wilson Simoninha) · Bossacucanova · Wilson Simoninha · Chico Buarque · Chico Buarque

Nice drums!

The Thrill Is Gone · Jerry Garcia · David Grisman
Nice detail
 
Monitor Audio Speakers, driven by Parasound amplifiers:
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Yeh, it also has the Niagra power conditioner....

Neat way of using a large bolt to pull the drivers flush to the baffle with no fasteners!

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Paul Simon - Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes​

Nice sound and great recording with a lot of ambiance.

A Love Song for Gary Numan · Astronautalis
Superb detail/high frequency dynamics. Sounds amazing on my headphones as well.
 
Golden Ear Speakers, PrimaLuna tube amplifiers:

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These Rotel products always look so attractive to me:
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PrimaLuna power amplifier:
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The single screw seems out of place:
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Leonard Cohen - Chelsea Hotel #2 (Official Audio)

Nice central image (vocal).

Lauren Daigle's new single "You Say" from her album, Look Up Child

Again, nice central imaging of the vocals.
 
Nicest decorated room at the show! :) They turned on the lights for me but otherwise, it was dark with just the candles lighting up the room. I am told the owner is into showcasing the gear this way. The person manning the room was actually a customer that was helping out with his own personal gear:
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The Odyssey amplifiers were the main thing although a different amp was being used in the demo:
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The owner had wisely disconnected the lower driver as he said the room sounded too boomy with it on.

Miles Davis - Time After Time (Live 1985) (may be wrong look up)​


Nice.
 
Vanatoo was showing the "plus" revision of their speakers which is slated in the next 1 to 2 months. Main change was addition of a waveguide to the tweeter:
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The sub was there but not connected:
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Smaller one retails for $450. Don't remember the cost of the larger one.
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Electronics subsystem:
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Violin Concerto in G major KV 216, I. Allegro (Original 2006 edition)​

(may not be the right look up)
This was the smaller speaker. Sounded nice given its size.

Switch to larger speaker:
Turned My Upside Down · Sara K.
Sounded excellent

Dire Straits - My Parties​

Excellent highs.

Adele - When We Were Young (Live at The Church Studios) (may be the wrong version)​

Nice!

Back to smaller speaker:

MOZART Violin Concerto in G major KV 216, I. Allegro (MQA remix 2016)​

Again, nice.
 
Audio Note/Gig Harbor Audio:
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Audio Note.jpg

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Full Moon (Original Mix) (wrong look up???)​


Scratchy LP.

Tim Bernardes - Nascer, Viver, Morrer (Official Video)​

Speakers almost flush with the wall. This caused the soundstage to strangely be a foot into the wall. A bit boomy.

Tim Bernardes - Fases (Session - 16mm)​


My notes say "nicer" but it must be the wrong look up as this sounds horrible.
 
Dutch & Dutch 8C active speakers:

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Charles Lloyd & Zakir Hussain & Eric Harland - Dancing on one foot​

Super clean sounding.

Another classic: Magnetic Lies · Malia · Boris Blank

Superb sound!

Jugglers Parade · Dave Holland Quintet
Excellent high hat in left channel.

Submotion Orchestra - Variations [Official Music Video]​

Superb vocal in the center. Amazing clean bass.

Sweet Emotion · Leo Kottke · Mike Gordon

Amazing clarity of strings.

Really, one of the highest fidelity sounds at the show. The only minor hit was that speakers being small, projected a 4 to 5 foot high image. In this regard, it could not compete with full sized speakers. But in every other respect, it blew others away. The clarity of bass due to room optimization and dipole bass was apparent. As was the ability to play with authority at any volume (in the small room at least).
 
Black Ocean Audio speakers. They sell them with or without the bottom half:
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Lady Blackbird - Fix It (Official Audio)​


I didn't have a good seat so didn't care much about the fidelity. Now listening on headphones, the vocals are amazing.

Alexi Murdoch - All My Days​


Vocals were diffused. Seems partially to be an aspect of the recording.

Greg Porter's stuff is always well recorded.

Gregory Porter - Liquid Spirit (Claptone Remix)​

Nice track once it gets going
 
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Cardas (cable company) had a "lounge" with this original Apple IIc (or was it IIe?) which reminded me of me owning an Apple II:

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Dutch & Dutch 8C active speakers:

Really, one of the highest fidelity sounds at the show. The only minor hit was that speakers being small, projected a 4 to 5 foot high image. In this regard, it could not compete with full sized speakers. But in every other respect, it blew others away. The clarity of bass due to room optimization and dipole bass was apparent. As was the ability to play with authority at any volume (in the small room at least).

Easily my favorite of the show. The bass output down to 20hz from two speakers that size was astounding.
 
Spatial Audio Speakers, Linear Tube Amps (LTA):

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These are open baffle speakers:
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I was pleased that folks in the room knew about me and ASR.

Abdullah Ibrahim - Calypso Minor​

Nice detail. Excellent recording.

Dominique Fils-Aimé | Birds​

Very nice. Superbly recorded.
 
Chapman speakers:

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Some kind of power strip from Furutech:
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Don't Let It Bring You Down (Live at Massey Hall 1971) · Neil Young

Sounded bright but playing it now it is in the recording just the same.

There's a World (Live at Massey Hall 1971) · Neil Young

Spatial effects in the recoding are nice.
 
When I was in this booth the day before, they only played the smaller Børresen speakers. This time I got to listen to the M6. This is a $550,000 speaker (not a typo)!
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The what???
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Someone who is into cable lifters is having a heart attack after seeing this:

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Simply Red - Holding Back The Years (Official 4K Remaster)​


Boomy and tuby. But large presentation.

Pastime Paradise · Patti Smith

Central vocal image nice; bass still sounded wrong.
 
Listened to the latest top of the line Stax headphones (don't remember the model number):

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Sounded exceptionally clean at low to medium levels. Sadly, just like my vintage stax headphones, got severely distorted and output no more power past 3:00 pm on volume control.


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Purpose of going back for a second day to 2023 Pacific Audio Fest was to see a few suites I missed.

As you see a woofer is mounted on the back to compliment the coaxial on the front. 400 watts of amplification which is a lot for such a small speaker.

Nice details!

Spoke to them about getting a sample for review.
Looks very interesting. That was an active rear firing woofer, not a passive radiator?

Have you tested NFS with an active rear woofer or passive radiator? They sometimes seem not to do very well as opposed to in room. I don’t think I have seen a review on anything similar but would like to read up on it if I missed it.
 
Gershman Acoustics 30th Anniversary Grand Avant Garde speakers: ($18,000)
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Sergio Leone Suite: Ecstasy of Gold from "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" · Yo-Yo Ma · Ennio Morricone · Roma Sinfonietta
Nice recording.
 
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